Family beaches in Florida

Old Jul 19th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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Family beaches in Florida

Can you recommend a beach with a family atmosphere? We have 3 boys who are 1, 5, and 7. We don't need a beach that has extra things do do such as rides, etc. The beach is entertaining enough for us.

We were thinking either north-east or north-west
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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This might be stretching your "north" boundaries a little, but you might want to consider Melbourne Beach.

Most of the beach is private access, but there are a couple of public-access spots with parking and restrooms. For the most part, the beach is very quiet and not heavily used. If you're looking for something a bit more lively, try Cocoa Beach to the north. If you want to head a bit farther south, you could go to Vero -- wide beach, nice town.

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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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Amelia Island/ Fernandina Beach Florida sounds like it would be a good choice for you guys. There is also a nice state park, Ft. Clinch on the north end of the island.
To clarify, Fernandina Beach is the city on Amelia Island. It is located in NE Florida, north of Jacksonville.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Any of the Florida beaches would fit the bill for you.

Love Melbourne and New Smyrna beaches.
Old Jul 19th, 2004, 11:04 AM
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I would check out Pensacola Beach. Family friendly and plenty to do.
Old Jul 19th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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Crescent Beach, south of St. Augustine is very nice and is close to St. Augustine in case you want to do some activities. This is also a nice, relatively quiet, but not remote, location.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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What time of year? Northern and Panhandle areas aren't necessarily warm enough in the winter. The southern part of the state can be too hot for some people in the middle of summer.

Having said that. If it's late Spring, Summer, or early Fall, I second Pensacola Beach. I live here and our CofC advertises us as family friendly. The Gulf is often calmer than Atlantic Beaches. As a bonus, Pensacola Beach is on an island so we have Santa Rosa Sound on the north which is generally calm and clear all the time. There are great areas for small children to play in the water.

We don't have that amusemnet park look you said you don't want, but we do have 2 small miniature golf courses. Just in case you want something else to do one day. We also have a historic fort at the west end of the Island, complete with cannons, which my young relatives all have loved.

You can find lodging everywhere along the price scale. Motels, condos, cinder block cottages, and large houses. It all depends on what you want.

In general, our beaches are less crowded than many areas.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 06:21 PM
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My daughter and I stayed at Cocoa Beach over spring break and loved it. It is very low-keyed and family-friendly. Just what we were looking for, to avoid the college spring break scene. Plus, if you want to hit Orlando one day, it's only about a 45-minute drive to the theme parks. And we were even able to see a satellite launch one morning, from our beach chairs! We didn't tour Cape Canaveral, but heard it's pretty cool for older kids. We stayed at the Hilton Cocoa Beach, but it was in need of a facelift at the time (hence our really low room rate, I guess). I think they're in the process of doing that now. The best thing about the Hilton is its beach access and large deck facing the ocean. Worst thing is that the rooms don't have balconies. If you go there, definitely get a room facing the ocean.
Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:30 PM
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I think any beach except Daytona or Miami would be what you described.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Flagler Beach is pretty quiet, Ormond Beach would also be a good choice.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:42 PM
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Depending on when you go, Destin might be of interest. It is pretty quiet in the fall but it is still warm. The beach is nice & the water is pretty. Many of the people from New Orleans go there for vacation since it is close enough.

I would suggest Siesta Key but it might be too far S for you. How about Ponte Vedra near Jacksonville? That is sort of NE FL. It is near to St Augustine if you want to do some sightseeing too.
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Old Jul 31st, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Anastasia State Park near St. Augustine, very beautiful beach.
Old Jul 31st, 2004, 10:27 AM
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Ditto Flagler beach. We stayed there when my kids were in preschool. Rented a condo for the duration and had access to a pool.
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Old Jul 31st, 2004, 02:21 PM
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With children that young, I would stay at a Gulf Coast Beach. There's nothing really between Clearwater Beach and around the bend to that first big beach - St. Joe? St. George? Anyway, if you must stay north, I vote for the Panhandle. My kids grew up in the water off Cocoa Beach but we had some harrowing moments with waves.
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Old Jul 31st, 2004, 02:28 PM
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Another vote for the panhandle, especially with small children. I just love Pensacola and the Gulf Shores.
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Old Jul 31st, 2004, 02:57 PM
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I'll definitely vote the gulf beaches and especially the area from Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, to Siesta Key. The waters are just so beautiful and the waves are never crashing. Little children love to run into the gentle current coming in. Sand is pure, pure white, not too many people around, can't ask for it to be any better than that. Oh, yes the restaurants are pretty good too!!
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Old Jul 31st, 2004, 03:25 PM
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I just spent the past week in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, Alabama area and there were tons of families there. It's a great place, with beautiful beaches, and the water isn't usually rough at all. Along the beaches, people are mainly swimming, sunbathing, reading, relaxing, etc.

One thing I noticed, however, is that the traffic is terrible around this area now (I haven't been there in 4 years). We went through the tunnel in Mobile and traffic was so congested that we frequently came to complete stops on the interstate (this actually started along I-10, outside of Pascagola, Miss. We continued to come to complete stops multiple times outside of the tunnel and all the way to the Gulf Shores/Loxely exit.Traffic was also backed up this same way on the other side of the bay, so it was obvious as many people were leaving the area as were coming in. It should have taken about 1 hour, 15 minutes from the tunnel to Orange Beach, yet it ended up taking much longer!

I'm curious if this is typical in this area during the summer, or if I was just unlucky. Also, I wondered if Pensacola Beach is as crowded (as far as the traffic goes) as Gulf Shores is? My condo rental was a Saturday-Saturday rental and I got the feeling that many others were this way too. It might have been better if more rental agencies would allow some flexibility on the 7 day rental period.
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